All of us Texans should have the Texas Almanac in our possession.
Among the best information, that I've found so far, comes from the Survey for Office of the Governor, listing Texas Traveler's Top Attractions.
My one longtime reader, and anyone reading this in the Fort Worth zone, may remember a few years back when the sporting goods store named Cabela's come courting Fort Worth.
Cabela's told Fort Worth officials, and the city's puppet newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which repeated it over and over again, that Cabela's would be the #1 Tourist Attraction in Texas.
The number of visitors predicted, that I read in that terrible newspaper, ranged between 4 and 8 million.
Like a lonely spinster, surprised to find a suitor interested in her, Fort Worth agreed to just about anything Cabela's asked for, like tax breaks, I forget what all the concessions were. Part of the deal was Cabela's had to meet certain performance criteria, and if those criteria were not met, Cabela's would pay for it.
I remember the first time I read that Cabela's was to be the Top Attraction in Texas, it just seemed such a ridiculous claim, that I was appalled the local newspaper of record fed that propaganda without questioning it.
Not long after Fort Worth got shystered by its Cabela's suitor, Cabela's announced that another Cabela's would be opening in Texas, down in Buda, south of Austin. The fact that Cabela's was cheating on its Fort Worth suitor, with another town in Texas, was not much mentioned in the Star-Telegram. Nor did the Star-Telegram ever admit, as far as I know, that the claims that Cabela's would be the Top Attraction in Texas, were, basically, a con job that Cabela's has pulled on other easy to dupe places.
In other towns, like Boise, Idaho, when Cabela's makes its play and asks for tax breaks and other breaks, Boise told Cabela's if it is not economically viable for Cabela's to operate in the Boise area, without being subsidized, then don't. Boise provided Cabela's no breaks. Cabela's built a Boise store, anyway.
So, I found it amusing to see a list, provided by the State of Texas, of what the Top 15 Tourist Attractions are in Texas, both for Texans and for out of state visitors.
I know it is going to shock you, but Cabela's is not the #1 Tourist Attraction in Texas. The Governor's survey combined the total number of visitors to both the Buda and Fort Worth Cabela's and even then Cabela's was only the #10 Attraction for Texans and #7 for out of state visitors.
In a rather funny irony, two attractions in Fort Worth are more attractive to Texans than Cabela's, that being the Fort Worth Stockyards at #8 and the Fort Worth Zoo at #9. Six Flags Over Texas, in Arlington, is a bigger attraction than Cabela's at #5. I remember mentioning Six Flags in my letter to the editor of the Star-Telegram, asking if it really made sense, to them, that a sporting goods store was going to be a bigger attraction than Six Flags?
Anyway, below are the two lists, the first list being that of the Top 15 Attraction for Texans, with the second list being the Top 15 Attractions for out of state visitors.
Top Attractions For Texas Tourists
2. River Walk
3. Galveston Island
4.(T) State Capitol
5.(T) South Padre Island
5. Six Flags
7. NASA Space Center
8. Fort Worth Stockyards
9. Fort Worth Zoo
10. Cabela's (both Buda & Fort Worth)
11.(T) Sea World
11.(T) Moody Gardens
13 Ballpark at Arlington
14. Kemah Boardwalk
15. San Marcos Outlets
Top Attractions For Out of State Visitors
1. Galveston Island
3. San Marcos Outlets
4. River Walk
5. State Capitol
6. South Padre Island
7. Cabela's (both Buda & Fort Worth)
8. Sea World
9. State Fair of Texas
10. Six Flags
11. Kemah Boardwalk
12. Fort Worth Stockyards
13. Fiesta Texas
14. Moody Gardens
15. Ballpark at Arlington
My only problem with the Texas Almanac is there is so much information on its 736 pages that the print size makes it hard for me to read, at times, without a reading aid, like a magnifying glass.